Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: David Elms: Mister Boy, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Kate Copstick
David Elms has exquisite control of silence. It is as if someone has squeezed all the sweet and nice out of Stewart Lee and made a whole new comic with it, complete with Lee’s awesome ability to hold a room in stillness. It is an extraordinary skill. Elms has got married. Which is lovely. He has also had his hair cut. We admire and consider his haircut for a full five minutes at the top of the show. It is, he tells us, his opener. It is an excellent opener. You will like it.
It is lucky he decided to make the haircut his opener as his South African hairdresser features quite prominently in the show. Along with his wife, Clark Kent, Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne.
Elms’ show is like a spider’s web – it looks so delicate, almost flimsy – but it is in fact incredibly strong and quite impossible to resist once he has you there. Of course there are songs and – daringly – Elms has introduced quite a lot of audience participation. There are candle-lit baths, a canine amputee, a truly delightful marriage ceremony, some harmonica playing and some lip-synching. He might not quite have reached Adam Hills-ian audience usage but the front row were putty in his gentle hands. Even the rest of us were rendered pliant enough by laughter to indulge in some surprisingly enjoyable community singing. Surprisingly (but I think he felt he was amongst friends, which he was), Elms reveals that he used to watch a certain amount of porn.
Marriage has of course made this a thing of the past but… well, I shall let him tell you. He obviously has an understanding new wife. This is a quietly confidently funny show.
Pleasance Courtyard (VENUE 33), until 31 August, 6pm / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 24 August 2015
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